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Judge declares mistrial in wrongful death suit against Suge Knight

A Los Angeles Supreme Court judge declared a mistrial in the wrongful death suit lawsuit against hip hop mogul Suge Knight in connection with the death of Terry Carter.

A jury deadlocked after they deliberated the suit, which was filed in 2015 by Carter’s wife Lillian after Knight ran over her husband on the set of the N.W.A. biopic “Straight Outta Compton” in 2015, the LA Times reported.

Jurors were deadlocked at 7-5 in favor of Carter, according to court documents obtained by the paper.

While jury deliberations began last Tuesday, the jurors determined after less than a half-hour of meeting on Wednesday that a “mistrial should be declared.” 

Nine votes in favor of a plaintiff are required for a determination.

“The Court and Counsel confer regarding declaring a mistrial. Both sides agree that a mistrial should be declared,” court records obtained by the paper said.

Carter’s widow filed the wrongful death lawsuit against Knight, Universal Studios Inc., and rappers Dr. Dre and Ice Cube, who were also portrayed in the film.

Marion “Suge” Knight ran over Terry Carter on the set of the N.W.A. biopic “Straight Outta Compton” in 2015.
Frederick M. Brown/Getty Images

The suit alleged Universal was negligent by continuing filming in Compton after Dre warned the production to keep Knight, the co-founder of Death Row Records, away from the filming location due to a years-long beef.

The suit claimed production knew of the tension between Dre and Knight, but moved forward with filming anyway.

The complaint also alleged Universal negligently hired Cle “Bone” Sloan — a longtime rival of Knight whose fight with hip hop exec led to Carter being run over. Sloan had been working as an adviser on the film and helped broker deals with gang members so that it could shoot in Compton.

Photos of Terry Carter.
Carter’s wife Lillian said “her children have been robbed of the only father they know.”

Knight, who is played in the film by actor R. Marcus Taylor was upset with the way he was portrayed.

He was out on bail for a 2014 robbery when he was caught on video repeatedly driving his pickup truck over Sloan at a Tam’s Burger parking lot in Compton and then fatally knocking into Carter, 55, before peeling off.

In 2018, Knight was sentenced to 28 years in prison after he dodged a trial on murder and attempted murder charges by pleading no contest to voluntary manslaughter. 

A Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department officer checks the scene of an accident at a parking lot in Compton, Calif., Thursday, Jan. 29, 2015.
A Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department officer checks the scene of the incident at a parking lot in Compton, Calif. in 2015.
AP/Damian Dovarganes

In a letter read aloud at the emotional sentencing hearing, Lillian Carter said “her children have been robbed of the only father they know. By God’s grace I am surviving. Not living, surviving. This is a nightmare,” the widow wrote. 

“I am no longer the mother, sister, wife I once was. I am no longer a wife because of the defendant’s senseless actions.”

The lengthy prison sentence shut the book on a long career decline for Knight, who founded Death Row records with Dre and helped launch the careers of Snoop Dogg and Tupac Shakur. 

He lost control of Death Row after it was forced into bankruptcy and has felony convictions for armed robbery and assault.

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